Skip to comments.Aerospace Notebook: 800 orders set Boeing record
Posted on 11/24/2005 6:32:58 PM PST by Paleo Conservative
It's official. The men and women who sell commercial jetliners for The Boeing Co. have set a record for most orders ever won in any year by Boeing, Airbus or the late McDonnell Douglas.
With the 42-plane firm order announced Sunday by Emirates Airlines at the Dubai Air Show, Boeing now has 800 gross orders for 2005, or 775 net orders, which includes cancellations.
That shatters the previous jetliner order record set by Boeing in 1996, when it won gross orders for 668 jetliners.
Some recent media reports have said Boeing's best year came in 1986, when it won orders for 877 planes. But that number is misleading because it includes planes sold by McDonnell Douglas.
After the 1997 merger, Boeing added its former competitor's order totals to its own for each year starting in 1955 -- the dawn of the jet age. In 1986, McDonnell Douglas won 279 orders, including 209 for its D-9. Boeing had 405 orders in 1986.
In 1996, Boeing won 668 orders to only 44 for McDonnell Douglas. Those 668 orders have stood as a record for any manufacturer of commercial jetliners with 100 or more seats -- until now.
The best year for Airbus was 1998 when it won 556 orders. Airbus should easily beat that total this year but appears unlikely to match Boeing's 2005 total, which is going even higher.
At this week's Dubai Air Show, the always-entertaining John Leahy, Airbus' supersalesman, said Airbus will pull even with Boeing in orders by the end of the year -- it now trails by about 200 planes.
Not likely, John.
Still to be decided are three major airline campaigns in which Boeing and Airbus both have a shot -- Qantas, Singapore and Cathay Pacific.
Qantas, whose board could announce a decision Dec. 7, has said it is considering a $16 billion order for up to 100 widebody jets. It has been evaluating the Boeing 777, 787 and 747-8, as well as the Airbus A340, A350, and more A380s.
The Qantas competition is considered too close to call and the airline could end up splitting its order with both manufacturers. It is unclear if Qantas will announce all its orders at once, or have some spill over into 2006.
Singapore Airlines is considering an order for as many as 60 widebody jets and, like Qantas, is evaluating the 777, 787, 747-8 as well as the Airbus A340, A350 and more A380s. Boeing is the front-runner. Singapore Airlines is the biggest 777 operator in the world.
A decision by Singapore could come in December or may be delayed until early 2006.
Cathay Pacific is expected to announce its choice soon for as many as two dozen widebody jets. It is considering the 777 and A340. Although the Hong Kong-based airline has a mixed fleet, those planes mostly have Rolls-Royce engines. This could give Airbus the advantage. The 777-300ER that Boeing hopes to sell Cathay Pacific only comes with a General Electric engine.
Another hard-fought competition that is likely to be decided soon is in Russia, where Aeroflot has said it could order around 22 787s or A350s.
To match Boeing in orders this year, Airbus would probably have to roll the table on Boeing and win all those orders, and then sign contracts before the end of the year so the orders could be counted as firm for 2005.
And Boeing still has more than 60 commitments for the 787 Dreamliner that it is working to turn into firm orders by the end of the year.
Boeing last beat Airbus in orders in 2000. Scott Carson, Boeing's jetliner sales chief who took over that job in late 2004, had vowed early on in 2005 that Boeing would win back the annual order trophy that had found a home with Airbus the past five years.
Regardless of what happens with orders between now and the end of the year, Airbus will deliver more planes than Boeing in 2005, just as it did the past two years and is likely to do in 2006 and 2007.
With Boeing and Airbus both having banner order years, is anything left for 2006?
Boeing has said it expects to have a solid 2006, but has acknowledged orders are likely to be fewer than in 2005.
Some industry analysts are expecting a sharp drop in orders next year. "We believe this represents the end of the order boom and expect 2006 to be much weaker," Merrill Lynch analyst Charles Armitage wrote in a recent report.
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Cool! There's a lot to be thankful for.
Cool. That should help with the trade deficit.
And if that new plastic 787 turns out to be half as good as they say it will be, Boeing will be in fat city for some years to come.
I think they'll be plowing profits into developing a 737 replacement based on the technologies developed for the 787.
Except who needs a 737 composite replacement when the Next Gen is going so strong? Maybe in the year 2020!
If the manufacturing costs of the composite 787 are really significantly lower than for conventional aluminum, Boeing would be in a position to significantly dent Airbus's share of the narrow body market. Sure the 737 line is doing well, but the narrow body market is so large (Boeing builds almost 30 737's per month) there could be room for more than just two manufacturers. Embraer has already launched the E190 which is larger than a regional jet. Canadair is working on an MD-80 sized jet that could compete with part of the 737 line especially the 737-600 which is a bit heavy. Replacing the 737 may be like eating their own children. But hey if Boeing doesn't do it, someone else will.
What if mfg costs are not significantly lower? What if there is a finite supply of composite materials? And how about the BBJ? Interesting concept of Embraer and Canadair competitors. But are they significant?
Bombadier got a loan from the british government to fund part of the development of their new plane.
Look out Boeing, here comes Bombardier
Can't find the artcle about the brit loan to them.
But where are they going to get all the proprietary technology to make it successful?
Worst economy since Herbert Hover...
If the manufacturing costs of the composite 787 are really significantly lower than for conventional aluminum, Boeing would be in a position to significantly dent Airbus's share of the narrow body market.
Another factor is composites might be better suited for the short-haul market. Short haul wear and tear is cause by take-off and landing cycles. Short haulers tend to wear out about twice as fast as long-haulers. Since the composite airplanes are supposed to be considerably stronger, they should last longer.
My guess is the 737 follow-on will focus on the 150 to 225 seat market, and will not go after the 100-125 seat segment. Embraer's jungle jets and the Bombardier CSeries going to take over that market.
Despite the original talk of the 787 being a replacement for both the 757 and 767, it seems now the 787 is clearly a 767 replacement.
I'm still betting for sooner, rather than later, for the 737 replacement.
Even a 777-200ER replacement if the 787-10 is launched.
Why do you say that???
Because the 787-8's and 787-3's seating capacity is just below the seating capacity of the 767-300 (and the 787-9's capacity is greater than the largest 767, the 767-400). And the 787's seating capacity has crept up over the last year as Boeing has refined the design.
Also, the 787 is heavily targeting the long-range market, and the 757 has seen only limited use in the long-range market.
The 787-3, the medium range version of the 787, is 48% bigger than the 757-200, the primary version of the 757.
The 175-225 seat market will be the next big gap Boeing and Airbus need to address.
Which is why I think Boeing will launch the 737 follow-on sooner rather than later. Let Airbus spend a bunch of money on the A380 and the A350. If Boeing can do for the 150-225 seat market what the 787 promises to do for the 250 to 300 seat market, they will clean up.
I almost have to wonder if these Boeing decisions are part of a grand strategic plan to screw Airbus. Boeing has led Airbus to commit large sums of money after limited markets. Boeing has held its own with the derivative 737 in the largest jetliner market, and Boeing has cleaned up where it has developed new airplanes (777 and 787), forcing Airbus to commit significant R&D to the A350, after Boeing already dominated this market with 787 orders. Now Boeing is reducing the market for the A380 by launching a 747 derivative. It's like Boeing's plan is to force Airbus to commit so much money they will not be able to respond to a new 150-175 seat airplane.
Boeing try to screw Airbus? You think!
The 787 was originally planned as a middle of the market replacement. Whether that is 767/757 or 767 is your call.